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Safety tips for surviving severe weather

Wednesday - 6/12/2013, 3:39pm  ET

WASHINGTON - The threat of severe weather is looming over the Washington area and there are precautions homeowners can take to ensure their residence survives the storms.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, or FLASH, is reminding residents to watch for severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and follow these preparation tips.

Tornado Safety

  • Closely monitor a NOAA weather radio and/or a smartphone weather alerting app to receive lifesaving severe weather alert information and other emergency messages on a timely basis.

  • The best place to shelter in a tornado is indoors. Start with certified shelters and safe rooms, safe spaces above or below ground, or community shelters in public spaces labeled as official tornado shelters like stores, malls, churches or even airports.

  • If caught by extreme winds or flying debris while in a car, park as quickly and safely as possible -- out of the traffic lanes. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Be aware of standing water or the potential for flooding.

  • Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.

Flood Safety

  • Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, follow this simple rule: Turn Around…Don't Drown. Just six inches of flowing water can knock a person off their feet. Eighteen to 24 inches of moving water can wash an SUV off the road.

  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through flood waters or on flooded roads.

  • Don't allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.

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